Without doing any research, I can say with pretty high confidence that a majority of Americans have at least one form of social media. It is something that has become a huge part of daily life for everyone, from young kids whose parents allow them to use it, to even the President of the United States (although I personally feel like President Trump should lay off of Twitter and instead focus more on running our country).

In any case, while Social Media is an amazing tool to connect with people all around the world, using it as a mom has a lot of unique considerations to keep in mind. Although we all know that everything on the internet is permanent, whether you delete your social media posts or not, moms in particular need to be extra cautious about what they post and share due to the fact that they have kids.

The first thing that every mom needs to consider is just how much they are going to insert their kids into their social media posts. If you are using a secure form of social media such as Facebook, there is typically no problem with posting pictures of your children. However, in order to fully ensure that your kids are not exposed to people outside of your close friends and family, you should definitely double check your Facebook privacy settings, and set your profile to only be visible to friends and family. A lot of people forget this fact, which actually leaves their profile open for anyone who happens upon it through a search on Facebook.

If your form of social media is more open and public in general (i.e. Twitter), you need to make absolutely sure that you are comfortable with putting your kids in the spotlight before showcasing them. Even releasing just their first names is something major to consider, because by tweeting that out, you are effectively sharing their names with the entire world, whether you realize it or not, and you never know what strangers on the internet can or will do with that sort of information. And while first names are one thing, photos of them are exponentially worse since it instantly helps stalkers and predators identify your children visually. Although there is nothing implicitly wrong with sharing your children on Twitter, it is important to understand the inherent risks involved and to make a decision based on that knowledge.

Other than trying to keep your children sheltered from the outside world, one other major thing to consider as a mom on social media is how your social media posts can potentially reach your kids – if not immediately, then potentially down the line. For example, if you are having a night out with friends and wanted to share a photo of you drunkenly dancing on a table at a bar, that image can easily reach your kids someday, typically if and when they join social media and add you as a friend or follower or whatever the case may be. If that photo is still in your social media’s history, they can come across it, even if it was many years ago. So either think twice about sharing those types of photos, or alternatively make sure to delete old photos before your kids join you on social media.

In conclusion, using social media as a mom requires you to not only protect your children from the outside world, but to also consider how your social media posts could potentially come into the hands of your children, if not immediately then at some point down the line.  Taking these considerations into account will certainly go a long way towards making your social media usage much more enjoyable overall.